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Japan births at new low as population shrinks and ages

93 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno promised comprehensive measures to encourage more marriages and births.

Like the last one which was a big crony corporate welfare contract to dentsu for apps and matchmaking schemes that went nowhere?

Someone with a high school education used to be able to get a job to support a stay at home wife, children's education and a home.

Now none of that is true.

What changed?

8 ( +31 / -23 )

Was going to copy and paste the highlights, but the whole articulate is a highlight. Working conditions are crap, wages low tax is high.Government (LDP) are corrupt and don’t care. Why would you bring a child into this environment?

4 ( +38 / -34 )

Minimum wage in my prefecture is under ¥1000. Try living on that. Not surviving, actually living.

14 ( +45 / -31 )

Less resources needed for sharing then i guess. Nothing is good about population growth anyway. It only means more consumption of food, supplies and resources. Let nature take it course. What goes up must eventually comes down. Balance will eventually happen at a certain point. 125million is already a lot. We will still do fine with around half those number anyway. Government should instead start lowering the prices of land and prepare for a lower population number to manage. Imagine how much our future genration can do if there a tons of available land and resources to live on.

The government is doing it wrong. All those abandon towns and villages are actually full of potential if given to the right people to manage at a decent price. Things shouldn't be more expensive but instead should be cheaper. We shouldn't even be living in ridiculous expensive small apartments.

12 ( +30 / -18 )

Japan is the world’s third biggest economy but living costs are high and wage increases have been slow.

Slow? There have been ZERO wage increases that have kept up with cost of living and tax increases since the middle of the 1990's!

10 ( +35 / -25 )

Minimum wage in my prefecture is under ¥1000. Try living on that. Not surviving, actually living.

As of 2021 data, out of 47 prefectures in Japan, only 2 Tokyo (¥1,041) and Kanagawa (¥1,040) had average minimum wages above 1,000 per hour.

https://voyapon.com/minimum-wage-in-japan/

16 ( +28 / -12 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno promised comprehensive measures to encourage more marriages and births.

Promises made by Japanese politicians are not worth a toss…

8 ( +25 / -17 )

Japan will solve this matter, in its own way but it will..

You may be right, TokyoLiving, but sadly the evidence doesn't seem to be on your side. One way could be to program robots as Japanese, I suppose.

-11 ( +16 / -27 )

Many "otaku" males prefer virtual "girlfriends" and anime porn to the real thing. Japan is lost.

-16 ( +19 / -35 )

Life quality is what matters. Third biggest economy doesn’t matter if the population are living in squalor bad housing, terrible working conditions, the list is endless. Life quality should be the goal not being the third biggest economy. Priorities.

8 ( +35 / -27 )

As long as the people of Japan do not take a stand and rise up against your sloppy Government, nothing will ever change. Take a risk Japan. It's the only way to make the changes you want. How bad do you want change?

14 ( +25 / -11 )

@ Michael Machida: The Japanese are risk-averse and contamination paranoid. Just look at all those people wearing masks.

I just returned from Paris and the one thing that struck me about the French is how they enjoy being in the moment and just living. People are not glued to their cell phones but are interacting with others or just thinking. Masks have given the Japanese another reason to self-isolate. You can't make babies like that.

Otaku, hikikomori, and cosplay women who dress up like girls, and androgynous boy band idols; It's no wonder anyone is interested in sex, let alone having any physical contact.

-17 ( +23 / -40 )

Japan is the world’s third biggest economy but living costs are high and wage increases have been slow. The conservative government has lagged on making society more inclusive for children, women and minorities.

This, low births are not the problem, they are a consequence of the problem, something that gets just lukewarm, ineffective, temporary solutions that obviously don't solve anything.

If the government is trying to increase the births then it is failing horribly, everything it is doing right now only makes it less and less desirable for the people to form families and children.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno promised comprehensive measures to encourage more marriages and births.

Promises, meetings, plans. Never any action. But why would there be. The average age of these imbeciles is over 70, so what do they care?

1 ( +18 / -17 )

Minimum wage in my prefecture is under ¥1000.

I am sure it goes further than 2000 in Central Tokyo. So this alone is not an issue.

-22 ( +3 / -25 )

At some point, the Pensions paid out to retiree's will dwindle away to nothing... then what ?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

A drop in population has many benefits. Great for the environment as hundreds of villages and regions are simply abandoned, with populations of native animals such as monkeys and bears thriving; kids will be able to choose any university they want; graduates having countless jobs to choose from; everyone will get a seat on the train; no more lining up for pretty much anything, the list gies on. Win-win.

Once the population stabilises at 60 million and drops no further than that, Japan will be much more liveable and eco-friendly.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

The question is why? I am not a sociologist but they are obvious issues: couples who choose not to have a child until their personal economics improve. Next is less marriages due to the same concerns as well as women choosing careers over marriage or having children. Next is the number of unwanted pregnancies that result in abortions one the one hand, and flushing newborns into the toilet...

Additionally, there is a high number of marriages that end quickly due to DV.

Where I live, despite the minimum wage being less that 800 yen, the number of new born children is high compared to other prefectures.

Government policies, corporations, and even small businesses have not provided a way to have children and not take a hit in family income.

In fact many small business prefer to hire an unwed woman or Obachan to avoid employee loss due to childbirth.

National, prefectural and local incentives are needed to, hmmm, stimulate childbirth.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The total of 599,636 Japanese born in January-September was 4.9% below last year’s figure, suggesting the number of births in all of 2022 might fall below last year's record low of 811,000 babies, he said.

It certainly looks that way. Methinks Mickelicious Junior will be getting the hell out of Dodge when he turns 18.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

In my experience, its not having the kid - its having the 2nd kid.

"Japanese Society" or 'the old men in suits who refuse to change' makes it impossible for a mother to return to work. so how do you afford kid no.2? There no work from 930 -430 none. You could work shifts at a conbini - but is that the move after you busted your ass to get into a fabulous university? no way.

My office said to us in a meeting: we have all of this work we need to do but we could only get 1 more person next year. So I said why no 2 part-time people? 2 people who dont work 8-6? what about 2 people who work 10-3? same cost. double the work.

Guess what the answer was... guess ill wait....

"well, part time workers um well they um they have a reputation"

Imagine if there was some way we could talk to these people before they started working here?!?!? imagine some kind of interview process where we asked them questions.

They will try everything to fix the problem except anything that will work.

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

Fighto, that’s the positive side of population decline.

The negative side is fewer universities as they cannot survive on zero students so competition stays the same or increases; fewer jobs as more companies go under because they don’t have customers, so competition increases; fewer trains because they’re not needed, so the struggle for a seat continues.

When the 60 million is achieved, competition will be the same as now. Possibly with bigger houses and land. Definitely with more places for children to play outside, if they want to.

8 ( +21 / -13 )

Surprised it’s that high really with the economic uncertainty and politics dominated by very old men.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

The number of births has been falling since 1973.

And what has the LDP (oops, I mean, government) been doing for 50 years? Sitting on their bribes (oops, I mean, donations).

3 ( +22 / -19 )

More women in education and more people living in cities = birthrate below replacement level. World wide trend and it's only accelerating. Japan, S. Korea, Italy etc are all leaders.

Governments could still do more to look after retirees though and spend less on military budgets and bread and circuses. But no.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

I am sure it goes further than 2000 in Central Tokyo. So this alone is not an issue.

Minimum wage in Tokyo in 2022: 1041 Yen per hour.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/koyou_roudou/roudoukijun/minimumichiran/

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Why would people have more babies "for the sake of the nation" when the nation is urinating on families as it is? I'm sure many people want to have (more) children, but economically it's just not viable. A child born in Japan today is born with more than 9M yen of debt, and that is going to double with borrowing and the proposed tax increases to fund defense spending. Young people are LEAVING Japan for a better life overseas, even in nations where people used to come in droves to attempt the same. Now, those latter people come to Japan on tours to shop while we have to mind the stores and get paid just enough to cover taxes, but not enough to spend ourselves.

"A government-commissioned panel submitted a report to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week citing the low birth rate and falling population as factors that might erode Japan's national strength."

Yeah, well, at least you have those new Aegis destroyers and first-strike capabilities.

-8 ( +17 / -25 )

Import Them!!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Just based on my observations and experience , having a raising a child in Japan has NO rewards what so ever, sorry to say it but who wants to have a child and have it brainwashed and kidnapped by the system.

-15 ( +14 / -29 )

The birthrate will not rise due to many factors.

One of those is the commoditization of opposite sex relations.

There are women in Japan that are working two jobs, dental nurses, kindergarten teachers, convenience store workers, office workers and even nurses

What is the second job?

The other work is in the bars and clubs.

Customers are a source of income not a prospect for marriage or romance.

The goal is money not marriage for the majority.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

One of the reasons for the low birthrate is the lack of nursery or kindergarten schools especially in the rural areas. The money spent on COVID19 financial aid to businesses should have been spent to build such facilities.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

January-September was 4.9% below last year’s figure, suggesting the number of births in all of 2022 might fall below last year's record low of 811,000 babies, he said.

They paid 10 million yen to some LDP's oyajis niece for this prediction.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

low birthrates and small populations are associated with higher living standards. Such countries dominate global socio-economic rankings, Norway, Luxembourg, Singapore, etc.

As for Japan, living standards have improved a lot since i first came here in the late 80s, in tandem with the lower birthrate. In Osaka, I recall large communities lived under bridges and in tin and clapboard shacks along the river. Those are gone, replaced by new and tidy houses. Infrastructure is also waaay better than before.

Wages ae a problem and corporations need to be forced to pay more, given their huge profit growth in recent years.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

The old guys in the government said they will fix it!

Have some faith guys!

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Being a parent was great fun. I loved every minute of it. The self employed neighbours around me also seemed to enjoy it. Most Japanese parents don't really enjoy tme with their kids because they have no time.

Everyone needs a solid 2-3 weeks off in the summer to have fun with their kids.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

 low birth rate and falling population as factors that might erode Japan's national strength.

This is the limited mindset of the leaders - wounded ego and wanting to 'keep up with the Jones'.

Jeans population was under 85 million in the 1950.

125m is way too many - as highlighted by it's population density and quality of life issues

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

As of 2021 data, out of 47 prefectures in Japan, only 2 Tokyo (¥1,041) and Kanagawa (¥1,040) had average minimum wages above 1,000 per hour.

Wow and then you have to make very expensive payments to health insurance and pension schemes. Also a yearly NHK fee for a channel you may not watch. Amazing!

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

A drop in population has many benefits. 

Some negative rising health care costs. There won't be any pension for you (Not enough workers paying into it). You'll have to think of other investments to fund your retirement.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

just to be short and exact.

this is direct result of zero care zero family help LDP policy.dont need to say a word extra.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The number of births has been falling since 1973, when it peaked at about 2.1 million. It's projected to fall to 740,000 in 2040."

2040? Wow, talk about wishful thinking ...at current decline rate it will fall under 740,000 within the next 3 years.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Didn't they mention the other day that the public should shoulder the cost increase in the extra military defense, by paying more taxes?

Already low paying jobs with no salary raises, 40% of population in yearly contracts, or hired as "freelancers," with close to zero job security, inflation, add the dinosaurs's plan for higher taxes for "defense" (but keep unnecessary spending money on funerals, etc). Plus, plus, plus.

Why and how would people be encouraged to have kids with these conditions?

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Japan is the world’s third biggest economy

Japan isn't the world’s third biggest economy !

Really wish they would stop repeating this lie !

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

I am sure it goes further than 2000 in Central Tokyo. So this alone is not an issue.

Err, nope.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Wages and rent need to have some sort of control or rules. Wages are totally dependent on how generous owner-san is feeling, rent is set at whatever owner-san can get away with. Working fulltime doesn't guarantee a good life, it just guarantees being a slave for the elite.

My partner and I are waiting until we move to my home country to have children. It's just impossible here. Even with a dual income, if there's an unexpected expense we must be very careful for the rest of the month. I cannot imagine how people cope with having children here.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Moving homeless people around from under bridges isn’t an improvement when the population is becoming steadily poorer.

How have living standards improved for Japanese people in the last 30 years?

I am dying to know…

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Japan isn't the world’s third biggest economy !

Really wish they would stop repeating this lie !

Top three economies in the world ranked by GDP, 2022:

United States: $20.89 trillion

China: $14.72 trillion

Japan: $5.06 trillion
7 ( +10 / -3 )

When is the government going to realize that........Its far too expensive to even think about having children in Japan.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

The conservative government has lagged on making society more inclusive for children, women and minorities.

And men

1 ( +9 / -8 )

A shrinking and aging population has huge implications for the economy and for national security as the country fortifies its military to counter China's increasingly assertive territorial ambitions.

Can't do anything constructive to help people have more children? Then scare them into making babies. Fearmongering works, apparently.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Top three economies in the world ranked by GDP, 2022:

United States: $20.89 trillion

China: $14.72 trillion

European Union: $14.5 trillion

Japan: $5.06 trillion

The EU needs to be counted as one for this purpose, I think most people agree.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

GDP has completely nothing to do with the standard of living.You might have the third biggest economy but the standard of living for over 70% of the populace is third world standard.

If you travel overseas to most countries and actually get to live there you'll clearly see the disparities.Japanese people have been so much brainwashed by their gvt that keeps throwing this word GDP around.It's meaningless.Salaries for most people here are low.Then you have stupid TV programmes that are designed to further brainwash the populace that they live in a happy society where they keep on laughing on stupid TV nonsense.

I work at a Japanese company and have been here long and life for most Japanese people I work with is miserable compared to the countries that I have been to which have a much lower GDP.

GDP means nothing and should not be a measure.If you're smart enough you don't need to be told that.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

It’s a problem with so many solutions that they refuse to help on, it’s not citizens failing to make babies, it’s you failing to make a place where they can

no wage adjustments for younger workers

no time to meet another person to start a family

no money to start or raise said family, population would be lower if there was any sex education here lol

same sex couples don’t have reproductive or adoption rights

basic things that even less than 1% would use but agree with having like dual surnames are vehemently opposed by ossans who don’t even have to worry about it

government is going to raise taxes

energy companies are going to raise prices by 20-40%

daily basics have gone up

etc etc

these dummies are literally making the problem worse and then looking at us like we’re the idiots

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Well every modernised country has a “natural” falling birth rate. Unless they have immigration. But if it’s just about money I suggest, if I was PM, that every person who works( since that what the gov also want) the gov add 600 yen per hour as a top up salary, free health care at the Point of delivery for the family, free education for the kids, free public transport for kids. Or we could have a massive war and have peace and then wait for the population boom again eg post WW1 and post WW2. Or we increase child mortality, like Africa,, that will encourage young people to have more children knowing that some will live into adulthood. And work for the family as the parents age. The modern life , health care, economy and the peace dividend, changes our purpose in life. It’s probably more about quality of life now, than the quantity, hence immigration will increase and so will taxes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

A number of factors involved.

Insufficient family time means couples grow apart.

Too much time at work and high stress levels.

High cost of raising children and high cost of living.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

As of 10/01/2022, the top three prefectures are Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Osaka, at 1072, 1071, and 1023 yen/ hour, respectively. The hourly minimum may reach 2000 in Tokyo, eventually (as some have suggested), but not any time soon.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great news. There are far too many people in the world. A massive fall in population is needed not just in Japan, but everywhere. It would go a long way in helping to preserve our precious planet.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I volunteer to assist with that troublesome situation

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Just saw this same article on Asahi news website... followed immediately by an article headlined " Government mulls 40 trillion yen to strenghten defense abilities ". This tells you all you need to know about LDP priorities - no money for kids & families , botomless money pit for unnecessary weapons systems ( that fill the pockets of govt cronies in the military industrial complex ). Of course those brainwashed by the govt propaganda about NK and China being a threat & planning to attack Japan will disagree.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

High cost of raising children and high cost of living.

Completely false. Living in Japan is significantly cheaper compared with most Western countries due to the low real estate prices and cheap childcare.

I manage to save over 50% of my income after taxes, even with 2 kids and my wife not working.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

The government can't raise minimum wage. If they did, who would work as call girls they can play with on the weekend?

There are a lot of factors at play here. Most of it stems from low pay/support.

My wife is pregnant right now, and I'm terrified of trying to raise a kid here.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The Japanese society is ill. The name of the illness: Capitalism.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

What to do? What to do? It’s simple. When insufficient wage and the interests of the companies become priority over the family, having a family is much harder. Companies along with the governments, by deciding that not paying the wages they used to pay, they have set the situation for families not to happen. Making it necessary for both husband and wife to work to raise a family. When the population was growing, the only thing different was one person was able to support a family the same as it now takes two people to do, When one can support that will always create a great incentive to raise families ( have babies). Greater security = greater desire and ability to properly raise a family. Companies gradually over time have payed less and less. Less pay = less standard of living = more financial insecurity = stress = less time and ability to have children. Companies need to be a part their communities families, growth and security as they once did and understood. If they take care to the community, the community will take care of them. Not having a family is just the consequences of a problem created by the providers of the resources needed to raise a family. Too much has been taken away.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Zoroto, counting the EU as a country is ridiculous. That is not possible until they have merged their armies under a central command, get the right to elect their 'president', have one passport, one foreign policy and institute a single treasury and binding rules on economic convergence, along with a full 'transfer union'.

And if they try to do all this, just watch how fast the whole daft project collapses.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

What do u expect when all they hear and read about is the promotion of the ABCXYZ agenda. Any pair of the same thing cannot reproduce! Even a two-year kid knows that!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Zoroto, counting the EU as a country is ridiculous. That is not possible until they have merged their armies under a central command, get the right to elect their 'president', have one passport, one foreign policy and institute a single treasury and binding rules on economic convergence, along with a full 'transfer union'.

For the purposes of international comparison of economic size, I'm not sure why counting the EU is ridiculous. Its true that the EU doesn't fit the definition of a nation state for a variety of reasons, but on the other hand the member states are integrated into a single market with freedom of movement that makes it way different from any other form of international organization. In terms of economic integration it is more similar to Federal states like the United States than it is to other regional international bodies like ASEAN or USMCA.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Again, those economic factors are overestimated as a reason. They have more children in poorer prefectures etc. Also globally (Africa) or historically (Japan during former after the war decades) they have more children on average. So it doesn’t play a big role , if any, to raise minimum wages etc for a higher birth rate. There are a lot of other main reasons, all very well known, and additionally a few unoutspoken taboo ones.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So far, the government's efforts to encourage people to have more babies have had limited impact despite payments of subsidies for pregnancy, childbirth and child care.

One thing that would help would be to tell pregnant women not get the Covid injections, which greatly increase the rate of miscarriages...

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

One thing that would help would be to tell pregnant women not get the Covid injections, which greatly increase the rate of miscarriages...

This is disinformation, covid itself is the one related not only to miscarriages, but also to mothers deaths and other problems for the product. Covid vaccines reduce these risks safely which means unvaccinated pregnant women are at a much higher risk of losing their babies or their lives.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Mr Kipling

Today 07:45 am JST

Many "otaku" males prefer virtual "girlfriends" and anime porn to the real thing. Japan is lost

Just like the LGBTQ+ community, they could adopt. Making more babies need not be life's fulfillment. Life is how you make it and joy is what you make it. To each their own.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Formatting issues...sorry. the last paragraph is mine. First paragraph is the quote

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Birth rates in Japan will continue to plummet unless they give their entire social structure a huge overhaul. They'll need to:

a) increase wages

b) improve working conditions (eradicate this ridiculous overtime culture; allow for more PTO; stop guilting people for taking time off and going on holiday etc.)

c) improve working conditions and opportunities for women (promotional opportunities; desisting with discriminating against pregnant employees; allowing flexibility for single parents etc.)

d) normalize paternal leave and stop condemning the fathers who exercise this right because gods forbid they want to spend time with their kids!

e) do something about the teeny tiny shoebox living conditions

f) invest in making cities more kid and family friendly (parks where you can actually play in; accessible shops and restaurants that have no steps/stairs etc.)

g) more daycare centers that follow a strict, standardized guideline on the teachers and carers they hire, how kids are taken care of etc.

h) improve the education system by A LOT (no more of this excessive club activities nonsense that eats up free time and weekends; ridiculous entrance exams that only serve to stress kids out; inclusivity and actually doing something about the serious issue of bullying that occurs in school etc.)

i) implement J.O.I.N.T. C.U.S.T.O.D.Y so fathers don't skimp out on their parental responsibilities and duties and families with one non-Japanese parent have access to their kid(s)

If the Japanese government can tackle even a quarter of these raging issues they might see some improvement in the birth rate stats. Unfortunately, since aforementioned J-gov is run by a bunch of out-of-touch with the modern world old men clinging to their chauvinism and patriarchal credo, not to mention their discriminatory, xenophobic, and sexist views on well, everything, there really isn't any hope for the Japanese population to replenish itself.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

My wife is pregnant right now, and I'm terrified of trying to raise a kid here.

Good luck to you! If your fears are cost based, there would be difficulties wherever you go. Just look at the cost of real estate in the Anglo countries. If you wanted to use full time childcare in the UK, you are looking at over a grand a month, close to two million yen a year. You'd also be looking at about a million yen plus just to get your wife a UK spouse visa.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It really is a hopeless situation. I've been here for 40 years and it is steadily getting worse. My advice to young people here -- get out while you still can.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

It’s a cultural death spiral….the worse things get the more the Japanese vote for the policies causing it. Raise wages 20% and watch the economy flourish…..but they will just raise taxes and wonder what’s not working.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Just accept it, the whole situation is inevitable. Japan isn't meant to have a large population.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

This is good news in an already grossly over -populated country and in fact, world.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

This is good news in an already grossly over -populated country and in fact, world.

No it is not.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno promised comprehensive measures to encourage more marriages and births.

Any chances of them being different from whatever they tried (or pretend to try) over the last 3 decades?

For example dealing with THIS:

Japan is the world’s third biggest economy but living costs are high and wage increases have been slow. The conservative government has lagged on making society more inclusive for children, women and minorities.

Japan's population of more than 125 million has been declining for 14 years and is projected to fall to 86.7 million by 2060. A shrinking and aging population has huge implications for the economy

What ya ain't sayin'.

...and for national security as the country fortifies its military to counter China's increasingly assertive territorial ambitions.

Fortifying its military to protect what and who? Look at the previous paragraph. Not much left by 2060.

Not forgetting what military? By 2060 how old will the average JSDF member be? 45? 50? At best we're talking "Dad's Army. At worse, Grand-dad's Army!

A government-commissioned panel submitted a report to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week citing the low birth rate and falling population as factors that might erode Japan's national strength.

This the same panel and panelists than under Abe? (#sarcasm)

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

It's going to be Dad's Army fighting China (some of you may remember the classic BBC series from the 1970s).

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

I have just spent 15 minutes reading of the problems being faced by the Japanese according to the writers, who mostly it seems are Japanese or permanent residents. The complaints, all, should be directed against the politicians and the economists appointed by them. According to all press reports and my previous years of experience in Japan ( not there now ) the government party, as all previous governments, are not at all popular - unsatisfactory to the extent of 64% (? ) of the population. And yet time after time just something like 30% of all eligible voters actually vote and even among those persons their selection of a candidate is forced upon them.

Until voters turn out and throw out those they know cannot efficiently govern the crises enumerated will continue. How to fix the issues can be forgotten until on next voting day each community stirs themselves enough to go to the voting booth.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There are already far too many people in the world. And who'd bring a child into this awful world anyway?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Just my two cents Japan isn't the ONLY COUNTRY with this problem. The birth rate is down in many other countries. Again this is not just a Japan problem, we can blame wages etc but most of the same issues Japan is facing so is the other countries the younger people do not see a future and don't want to have kids period. People don't have large families anymore they are not living on "farms" one of the reasons people did have large families years ago. Things have changed those farming days are over.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mr KiplingToday 07:45 am JST

Many "otaku" males prefer virtual "girlfriends" and anime porn to the real thing. Japan is lost.

Agree. So many guys staring at me on the train and on the road, just to make eye contact. Weird. Not trying to make conversation in a bar full of women but interested in speaking with the foreign guys. The girls are pretty stuck on themselves and only want to talk to a certain type of guy. It was like this long before wages fell but it is really at a high water mark now.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I read many commenters here saying that it is fine to have less people.

Well let me tell you one thing: it will not happen!

Imagine all these corporations: how are they going to keep growing and making more and more money if there are less consumers?

I think the equation is simple. Either Japanese people start working on it. Either people will be imported to Japan to make up the numbers. Due to proximity, I guess it will be chinese

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan has been around for 5000 years I’m sure it’ll be around for another 5000

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is good. The world could use population decline. Less pollution. Yes the economy will be worse but the environment will be better.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Im doing my part. 6 is enough though, Im too old for this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I made two Japanese nationals.

Although, they will only be Japanese residents for a few more months, so I don't know if they count.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is a problem that Japan, Inc. brought upon itself, that being hubris.

No one under 40 or maybe even 50 remembers "Japan as number one." That was the title of a bestselling book that is long out print and its author forgotten. In that time of hubris in the 1970's and especially in the 1980's "Japan incorporated" could do no wrong. Money came down in a torrent and Japan Inc. spent that money on trifles, like pebble beach. Then came the 90's crash and an whole generation of young people were tossed from the corporate ladder, or not allowed to get on. That was the beginning of the baby bust. And it continues.

The birth rate in Japan was highest in the 1970s, a time of prosperity, but also a time of activism and revolt. Anyone remember the opposition to the building of Narita Airport?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There really isn't any way to address population decline.

The reality is, all countries will soon have to deal with it. Especially East Asian countries like China and South Korea. Actually, China is probably going to have it the worst going into the 22nd century. So Japan will basically get a heads up on everyone else, and be able to figure out a strategy to manage the situation. Think of it this way - several disasters have already "spelled doom" for Japan: the Great Kanto Earthquake, the Atomic Bombings, the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear disaster... yet every time, Japan has eventually found a way to move forward.

Maybe there will be another global post-Covid/post-Ukraine war baby boom, we don't know. It's not likely, but it could happen. The conditions aren't really that far off from how things looked heading into the 1950s.

Overhauling work culture and social systems is a good thing. It's also not a fix for population decline. People don't magically start wanting to have children just because you doubled their vacation days and gave them a raise. If people want to have kids they will do so regardless of their economic circumstances. Also, usually when the middle class grows, child births decline - this is a typical historical trend.

Japan could try to stem the decline by importing a few million immigrants from China, and from the looks of things, a lot of people want to exit there, likely jumping for any opportunity to leave Zero Covid land and live in the land of the rising sun. Realistically, they would work, have kids, and within two-three generations, essentially become absorbed into the Japanese majority demographic. This has already been the case with previous generations of immigrants from Korea and China. However, it's not a permanent fix, and will only slow the problem down. Also, it is a plan that is regrettably opposed by many, in spite of the benefits.

For example, the United States looks like it is doing okay in the realm of population decline, except when you consider that it is basically turning into Latin America. Mass immigration does permanently alter a nation's culture and values, and I can't say for certain that this is a good thing.

Let's be realistic that this is not a problem we can solve, is not exclusive to Japan, and instead, work on the things we can change while considering the positives Japan has to offer moving forward.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How can Japan increase birth rate?

Here is the list of top 10 countries that have highest birth rate (per 1000 people) in the world. Shold Japan learn from them how to do it?

1 Niger - 47.28

2 Angola - 42.22

3 Mali - 41.60 (tie)

4 Uganda - 41.60 (tie)

5 Benin - 41.55

6 Chad - 41.05

7 Congo (Dem Rep of) - 40.53

8 South Sudan - 38.26

9 Somalia - 38.25

10 Mozambique - 38.03

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Corporate greed is invincible in Japan’s history and relegates Japan to lose its nationhood in 50 years. It shall become a province of another nation that has handled its aging population with careful planning and foreseeability.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The people has to do their part, and not just getting grumpy about government. All governments are lousy, which is why we should NOT rely on them but on ourselves. I live several months a year away from Japan, in Australia, where things are much more expensive; and in New Zealand, where it is absolutely exorbitant. A pair of China-made worker's rubber gloves that sells at 110 yen in Japan goes for about 900 in Auckland. 25-year old still-decent houses in smaller Japanese towns go for 5 million yen or less; that just buys a closet in Australia or just enough space to install a toilet in Hong Kong. Onsen visit costs 500 or less in Japan for all you can soak; where else can you get that? Japan is the cheapest mature, developed country to live in, clean, safe and beautiful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One positive way to increase Japan's population is to invite healthy single Chinese men and healthy single Chinese women to settle in Japan. Many years ago China's population was growing so rapidly that the government made a law restricting each family to one child. Only recently has the law been relaxed to allow two children to a family. The population in China is still above 1 1/2 billion and, there are more men than women in China. It will be a positively fruitful manner to bring the two countries who are next door neighbours even closer together while helping increase Japan's population. Very good looking and intelligent are the children of European and Chinese parents. Therefore the new Sino-Nippon generation will possess the physical and mental qualities of both the Japanese and the Chinese culture.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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